Travel Picks: Top 10 city skylines

Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:57pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - There's nothing like landing at a city - either for the first time or after time away - and gazing out the plane window to catch a glimpse of its skyline. Online travel consultants ( offers its list of the top 10 city skylines. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. Hong Kong

Packed with more skyscrapers and people living above the 14th floor (read: that makes it a ‘vertical city') than any other city on the planet, Hong Kong and its skyline are transforming by the day. Towering across the impressive panorama - best seen from above at Victoria Peak and below from Victoria Harbor - is the HSBC Main Building, I. M. Pei's Bank of China Tower and the International Commerce Centre (at 1,588 feet, the last is the world's third-largest building). We don't anticipate that high-rise construction in the neon-lit city will slow any time soon, so keep an eye out for Hong Kong's latest architectural wonders.

2. New York City, New York, USA

The Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the MetLife Building - need we go on? Manhattan's epic skyline is synonymous with the diversity and possibility that echo through New York City's gridded streets. Whether it's a view of the Financial District from the Brooklyn Bridge or a look at Midtown from the Hudson River, the Big Apple's stretch of landmarks, from Brooklyn to the Bronx, is a recognizable sight to behold.

3. Sydney, Australia

There are few buildings more iconic than the Sydney Opera House, so it's hard not to see it as the figurative centerpiece of the clustered, modern skyline of Sydney. The distinctive modernist roof of the multi-venue performance center (the UNESCO World Heritage Site is not just for operas) looks like either a series of shells or the sails of a vast schooner. Other buildings - like 1 Bligh Street, Sydney Tower and MLC Centre - similarly represent the best in world-class architecture, making the skyline of Australia's largest city - which overlooks the historic and beautiful Sydney Harbor - unforgettable.

4. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Its defining landmark is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, so it should come as no surprise that Rio's skyline made our cut. Is there a more iconic monument than the city's Christ the Redeemer statue atop Corcovado Mountain? Rio covers a stretch of Brazil's Atlantic Coast that blends natural wonders seamlessly with man-made achievements. Millions live together in the socioeconomically divided city, which has preserved churches and buildings since the 1500s. The dichotomies of the skyline and the people - old and new, rich and poor - are the pulse of Rio de Janeiro.   Continued...

Participants compete in a dragon boat race to mark the annual Tuen Ng or Dragon Boat Festival at Hong Kong's Aberdeen fishing port June 6, 2011. REUTERS/Bobby Yip